Archive for the ‘bird watching’ tag

Christmas Bird Count takes flight

By December 17th, 2012 at 11:06 am | Comment

Christmas Bird Count - SciStarter

See that partridge in a pear tree?

Make sure you count it for Audubon’s Christmas Bird Count, one of the largest and longest running citizen science projects in existence today. It’s a 112 year tradition, with upwards of 60,000 person-days of effort and more than 60 million birds counted each year.

“Each of the citizen scientists who annually braves snow, wind, or rain, to take part in the Christmas Bird Count makes an enormous contribution to conservation. Audubon and other organizations use data collected in this longest-running wildlife census to assess the health of bird populations – and to help guide conservation action.” –CBC Blog

From December 14 through January 5 each year, tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in this adventure. Volunteers follow specific routes within a 15-mile diameter circle, counting birds that are seen or heard. It’s not just a species tally—all birds are counted all day, giving an indication of the total number of birds in the circle that day. If you’re curious about the data and research from last year’s count, that’s available on the website too! The results of the bird count will be published in various scientific publications, most notably American Birds.

This is an ideal project to participate in with friends and family during the holiday season. Join thousands of others participating nationwide this year! Find a count happening near you.

Photo: State of Nebraska

Join The Great Backyard Bird Count this weekend!

By February 17th, 2011 at 8:34 am | Comments (3)

Scouts participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count 2010. (Photo: Veronica Stewart, South Carolina)

Scouts participating in The Great Backyard Bird Count 2010. (Photo: Veronica Stewart, South Carolina,

Shake off your Valentine’s Day chocolate-induced haze and break out those binoculars: The Great Backyard Bird Count 2011 takes place this Friday through next Monday, February 18 to 21.

The Great Backyard Bird Count is an annual four-day event during which bird watchers count birds to create a real-time snapshot of where birds are located across the continent. In as little as 15 minutes a day, you can help scientists learn how climate, disease, and habitat changes are affecting bird populations. Plus, you’ll have fun checking out your backyard visitors.

Last year’s event was a huge success. Bird watchers across the continent submitted nearly 100,000 checklists, reporting more than 600 species — a new participation record. This year, we can do better!

The Great Backyard Bird Count is free, fun, and easy, and it helps the birds. In addition, yearly data collection makes the information more meaningful and allows scientists to investigate far-reaching questions. For example, the data can be used to better inform scientists about certain species that may require more research.

We’d love to know about your experiences taking part in this year’s event. Post a comment below, share a picture on our Facebook Fan Page, or send us a tweet!

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An introduction to bird watching.

By February 4th, 2010 at 12:47 pm | Comment

New to bird watching? Professor Stuart Pimm talks us through the basics in this video. Many bird watchers share their observations with researchers in an effort to learn about and protect these  little critters that are so important to our ecology.  If you’re interested in getting involved in bird watching to help science, you’ll find plenty of citizen science ornithology opportunities using our Project Finder tool.